Standard Revision: Fair Trade USA's Trade Standard

Fair Trade USA’s Trade Standard is now open for public consultation until November 16, 2018.

In late 2017, Fair Trade USA began a review process to update our Trade Standard. The Trade Standard defines the requirements for supply chain partners that engage in trading Fair Trade CertifiedTM products. The Standard focuses on the role of traders in supporting the economic development of Fair Trade producers and their workers, and via traceability requirements assures buyers and consumers that the Fair Trade Certified products they buy were grown, harvested, manufactured, and traded in ways that improve lives and protect the environment. This revision is being carried out in order to ensure that the Standard continues to be relevant and impactful in all Fair Trade Certified supply chains, and to improve upon the clarity of existing requirements. The updated Trade Standard will apply to all supply chain partners globally, and all Fair Trade products, including agricultural products, seafood, and apparel and home goods.

We invite you to provide feedback on the draft of the revised Trade Standard during the public comment phase which runs from September 10 through November 16, 2018.

We encourage you to review and provide feedback on the consultation questions which are integrated into the draft Standard and highlighted in our public comment form.  

How you can contribute

Step 1: Gain an overview

  • Read the Draft Trade Standard to familiarize yourself with the content as well as changes in this revision. The Draft Standard also includes consultation questions for you to consider.

  • Read Fair Trade USA’s Requirements for Certificate Scope under the Trade Standard.

  • Review the Trade Project Plan to learn more about our process, timeline, and objectives.

  • Examine the Frequently Asked Questions, where you can find more background and summary information on the Draft Trade Standard.


Step 2: Share your feedback with us

  • Review and provide comments via our Online Public Form (in English, en español). This form contains targeted questions about the Draft Trade Standard, as well as space for additional comments.

  • If you’re unable to use the online form, please download the Draft Trade Standard Public Comment Form, complete it and email it to

  • Invite your friends and colleagues to participate and help us ensure that the Trade Standard drives positive impact at origin and meets the needs of producers, workers, traders, consumers, and businesses. 


NOTE: All revision resources are available at the bottom of the page in English, Spanish, and Portuguese


The Draft Trade Standard, which we now present for public comment, was developed based off a review of learnings from the field and interviews with a selection of brands, trading partners, producers, and experts from across different product categories and supply chains. This Draft Trade Standard aims to improve upon existing requirements to bring more benefit to producers and traders in the Fair Trade system and increase value and efficiency for all supply chain partners. As part of this revision, we have harmonized core trade requirements across Fair Trade USA’s three main product groups (agricultural products, seafood, and apparel and home goods), and customized guidance and/or special requirements by product or category to respond to specified needs. We have also added intent and clarification to each compliance criteria to improve clarity of requirements, and to be consistent with our other Standards.

Next steps

This public consultation is part of Fair Trade USA’s commitment to transparency and diverse stakeholder input. Our Standard Development and Revision Procedure outlines the process we use to write and revise all our standards. This process is based on the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for setting Social and Environmental Standards. Feedback from public consultation will inform the finalization of the Trade Standard version 2.0.0. The final Standard will be published in early 2019, with the exact dates to be determined based on the extent and content of feedback received during the public consultation. The Standard will then be revised within five years of publication, in accordance with best practices in standard-setting.

We look forward to receiving your feedback and thank you for your interest and support of Fair Trade.

Revision resources